Friday, December 28, 2012

Frohe Weinachten!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Watching Steve carve the turducken!
Has 2012 flown by for you like it has for me? I know I say a lot how time just gets away from me, but it's true! I can hardly believe that in just a couple days it will be 2013. I hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season with loved ones. My first Christmas away from home wasn't as depressing as I thought it might be, but it also didn't feel a whole lot like Christmas to me. There were definitely some good moments, though. The Christmas parties with the girls were fun. We put together a couple stockings for them, made lots of yummy goodies, and did fun Christmasy activities with them. We had a Secret Santa gift exchange, and I love the hand-decorated candles that Mimi gave me! Love seeing the talent in this dorm. Another great thing was hosting a Christmas Eve dinner here at Storch. Callie went home for the holiday, but Steve, Stacey, and I had about 13 people over for a big meal. I didn't want other people (specifically singles) to be alone cause I know that's rough, so it was a real joy to share the evening with them. Steve made a turducken, which was pretty awesome! We watched White Christmas and shared laughs. A couple other RA's spent the night at Storch, and in the morning I made an oven omelette and Dutch Apple Bread, a tradition in the Peters household. We opened stockings and gifts, then headed over to another dorm, Liel, where the dorm parents and RA were hosting another great meal for us “orphans.” In the evening I got a chance to Skype with my family for about an hour, which was great. So while it was not the same as being with them, the Lord still provided lots of good friends to share the holiday with me.

Storch sign-out board
Our girls are currently all over the world, from the USA to Russia to Korea to Jordan and lots of places in between. They were excited to go home and see family and take a break. We were excited for them! It can't be easy to be away from parents and siblings for a whole semester at a time. We do our best to provide them with a great home away from home and love them dearly, but it's not the same. It is interesting, though, to think about what we are really doing. It is such a privilege and huge responsibility that we've been given to help raise these girls. For one reason or another the Lord brought these girls to us, and their parents have decided to share the responsibility of bringing them up with us. I'm sure you all have differing views on boarding school, but for some people this is their best option, and I've seen some wonderful growth among the girls over just one semester here. There have been bumps in the road, too, but it's a joy and honor to walk with these girls through high school and all that entails. I went and saw “The Hobbit” the other day (great movie, by the way!), and on the way home I was talking to my friend about what his favorite parts were. There is one part where the Dwarves question Bilbo Baggins as to why he went along with them and left his home to help them in their quest to take back their realm. Bilbo says that he misses his home, that he thinks about it often, and that the Shire is where he belongs, but that that's why he is with them, to help them find the home that had been taken away from them. My friend says that he relates to Bilbo because that's kind of what we do here at the dorms. We leave our homes to help these kids have a home. There are sacrifices (like not going home for Christmas) but it's quite rewarding.

Dorm Christmas Party...fooood!!
This building is much too empty right was meant to be full of life, but
right now it's just me. I miss my gals! I AM grateful for all the rest that I've been able to get. I've enjoyed reading, watching movies, spending time with friends, and seeing some of the wonderful areas around here. For New Year I will be going to nearby Switzerland to stay with a friend for a few days. We'll be joining in the festivities in Basel to bring in the New Year. I'm quite excited about it! I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed to be missing out on the fireworks in Kandern, though. Apparently it's like a madhouse at the Blumenplatz in town, everyone setting off fireworks at the same time! Maybe next year I'll get to have that cultural experience. In the meantime I'll enjoy the more orderly setting off of fireworks in Basel. :) 

Rochelle's Birthday Party
On another note, I'm quite excited about the new year for all of the relationship building that it will bring. This last semester has been good, but a lot of time has been spent just getting accustomed to the routine and how everything works around here. It's been the same for a lot of our girls since more than half of them were new this year. So I'm looking forward to being able to focus even more on relationships and spending one-on-one time with the girls in this next semester. Please pray that the Lord will give wisdom in this and fill me with lots of grace and love. Sometimes the tasks become overwhelming and I get tired, and then it's tempting to not put in the extra effort to build those relationships, but that's what I'm here for after all. I definitely feel like this is where I'm supposed to be, that the Lord called me here, and I know He is faithful to those He calls. I'm grateful for His continued presence in my life, for the way He has poured out blessings upon me, and for how He has asked me to join in the work He is doing here. Thank YOU for joining in as well! May you know the grace and peace of God as you anticipate the coming of a new year and reflect on all He has done.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment